Tkam Theme Analysis

892 words - 4 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed

“Remember, it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird” (119). That’s what Atticus says to Jem and Scout when they want to kill birds with their new rifle guns. To Kill A Mockingbird is an excellent novel with a plethora of deep, powerful messages and themes found within the story. One theme that was especially dominant was the idea of gossip and innocence. This theme is recurrent throughout the entire novel. A symbol that aids the theme is the mockingbird, ironically found in the title of the book. Harper Lee used a variety of quotes and the mockingbird symbol to demonstrate how gossip can control a group of people (the town) and destroy the innocence found within people.
Killing a mockingbird is a sin. The quote by Atticus listed above is about killing life, but is also an extended metaphor for the corruption of innocence. Miss Maudie explains Atticus’ mockingbird quote when she says, “Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy . . . but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird” (119). Mockingbirds are harmless birds that sing songs by mimicking, or “mocking” the noises of other animals, including birds. When they sing and flutter about, they are not harming anyone, but merely minding their own business. For this reason, Miss Maudie and Atticus are both right. As long as mockingbirds mind their own business and do not bother anyone, there is absolutely no reason to kill them. The metaphor relates to gossip and innocence when Maycomb takes an innocent person and gossips about him or her, causing the town to have a bias against them even though they did nothing. For that reason, killing a mockingbird is a sin, just as well as gossiping about an innocent person is.
Miss Stephanie Crawford is the primary person who gossips. She knows everything about every single person in the town. She invades each individual person’s business and then takes that information and gossips, starting rumors, prejudice, and biases. “At that moment Aunt Alexandra came to the door and called us, but she was too late. It was Miss Stephanie’s pleasure to tell us: this morning Mr. Bob Ewell stopped Atticus on the post office corner, spat in his face, and told him he’d get him if it took the rest of his life” (290). Miss Stephanie is clearly eager to inform everyone of this event; quicker to inform to the children than Aunt Alexandra. Though the reader does not know if Miss Stephanie actually witnessed the event, it is obvious that Miss Stephanie is the first to deliver the news. The excitement about...